Age and Social Security: How the Two Interact

Age and Social Security: How the Two Interact

how age affects social security benefits
It’s important to know how age affects social security benefits. SSDA USA is here with a primer.

Millions of people receive social security retirement and disability benefits. However, not everyone receives an equal amount, and one critical factor in your benefits calculation will be your age. But how does age affect social security benefits? Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here with the answers. 

How Age Affects Disability Benefits

The truth is that people of nearly any age can receive social security disability benefits. Even children under the age of 18 can receive disability benefits, so long as they suffer “marked and severe” functional limitations as a result of their disability.

Furthermore, if a child over age 18 but younger than age 22 becomes disabled, they may also be eligible for disability benefits. However, in evaluating their eligibility, they are treated as an adult rather than a child; i.e., the standard of whether they can work matters most, and the “marked and severe” functional limitation criteria is eliminated. Because they are considered an adult child by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the parents’ earnings records will be considered before granting the adult child social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Adults younger than their full retirement age may also be eligible for benefits. Generally speaking, the closer you are to full retirement age, the more favorable your case may be. For instance, if you are age 30, literate, have little formal education, and are unable to perform sedentary work, you may be denied benefits. Contrast this with a 50-year-old with the same characteristics, and they may be approved for benefits.

How Age Affects Retirement Benefits

Aside from disability benefits, there is the issue of retirement benefits. Note that SSDI benefits automatically transition into retirement benefits when a person reaches full retirement age. Additionally, the rigorous criteria associated with maintaining disability benefits are eliminated.

Regarding retirement benefits specifically, though, a person can claim benefits as early as age 62, and the benefits max out at age 70. Generally, a person’s retirement age is anywhere from age 65 to 67. Here is a specific chart detailing exact retirement ages:

Year of BirthFull Retirement Age (FRA)
1937 or earlier65
193865 and 2 months
193965 and 4 months
194065 and 6 months
194165 and 8 months
194265 and 10 months
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 or later67

Now, how does age affect retirement benefits? The earlier you claim, the lower your benefits amount will be. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you claim at age 62, your retirement benefits amount in each check is permanently reduced by 30%. The reason for this is so people claiming earlier don’t have an unfair advantage over those waiting to claim their benefits.

If you claim earlier, you’ll receive more checks over your lifetime, but each check will be worth less. Conversely, waiting until age 70 means fewer checks, but with a greater amount in each check. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when you want to claim your retirement benefits.

Have Questions about How Age Affects Social Security Benefits?

If you have questions regarding how age affects social security benefits, contact an SSDA USA advocate right away for guidance. Our compassionate staff and attorneys work hard on your behalf to get you your benefits. Call us now for a free consultation at (602) 952-3200, or chat with us online via our contact form or our convenient LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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